Glasgow & West Scotland

Widower says freeing Carstairs killer is not worth risk

Gerry McCabe
Image caption Mr McCabe said he did not want any other families to suffer

The husband of a woman stabbed to death at her Glasgow home more than 40 years ago has said her killer should not be freed.

Alexander Reid was sent to the State Hospital at Carstairs after he admitted killing Angela McCabe in 1967.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) has now referred his case back to the High Court for reconsideration.

But Gerry McCabe said releasing Reid was a risk which was not worth taking.

He told BBC Scotland: "If he had murdered someone and responded to therapy, and become a reasonable citizen to lead a normal life, that would be alright.

"But he has not. The psychiatrists aren't wrong. They've said for 40 years he's a psychopath, and psychopaths kill people.

"So there's no reason for him to be out. It is not worth taking a risk."

The SCCRC has recommended the appeal court looks again at Reid's case after examinig the circumstances surrounding the case and at fresh evidence which suggests Reid may not be mentally deficient.

Psychiatric evidence

It has raised concerns about a potential miscarriage of justice in relation to the sentence passed.

Reid pled guilty to culpable homicide at the High Court in Edinburgh in September 1967.

It was accepted that his responsibility was diminished in relation to the offence.

On the basis of psychiatric evidence the court took the view that he was suffering from a mental disorder. He was ordered to be detained without limit of time.

In 1986 he was in fact freed but then recalled after attacking an eight-year-old girl.

He has made previous attempts to have his sentence overturned on the basis that his personality disorder was untreatable.

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